I recently attempted to make a case that philosophy and ethics should not be seen as mutually exclusive, but that they should function collaboratively; an interdependent dance to aid the journey of living well. But even if we can agree that both philosophy and ethics are important in the existential journey of being alive, we still have a problem — how do we do it?
I am not very good at many things. If my DNA was replicated in almost any historical situation and location other than this one, my chances of survival would be quite slim.
As a defense mechanism, I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with understanding the world as much as possible. While intellectual rigor, learning, and downright nerdiness have become a sort of pastime, I have, of recent, become much more concerned with the practical manifestation of knowledge.
There is an adventure of exploring the world so we can best live in it.
Religion, Science, and the Real Flaw When Talking About “God”
The frequent, anecdotal expositions aimed at proving and disproving God are, quite frankly, boringly predictable. Shrouded by confirmation bias, such arguments, proofs, and debates are a case in substantiating a predetermined belief by finding any information that conveniently approves what one already considers true. Those who do not share in such enlightenment are, at best, wrong and in need of your wisdom and, at worst, monstrously dismissed.
The opinionated premises that follow just aren’t that interesting.
Therefore, before we can begin having proper conversations on metaphysics, we need to address the mundane flaw that is in the way. …
Looking from the periphery, especially at social media, the 2020 Presidential Election has shown us, at least, that our culture ain’t so hot at handling conflict. Some display a childlike, filter-less barbarity in espousing their unnurtured, uninformed, confused vomit of opinions under a veil of objective truth. Others are simply so over the trite goulash of chaos that they are actually asking for cat pictures.
Well, I think it is time to talk about conflict resolution.
At the least, I hope I can offer some semblance of information that can potentially make the process better understood. And not just for post-election politics. …
The sun’s path appears to be bending south, adding a dull hue to summer’s bright skies. The last efforts at growth showcase the skills of plants not yet ready to die. Humidity vacates the air, replaced by a crisp breeze. Even the sun seems compelled to offer new ventures of color — bending light among increased clouds, resulting in vibrant displays of reds, oranges, and the occasional purple on the horizon at the end of a now-shortened day.
It is the one time of year those of us living in temperate climates take pride in our weather.
There is nothing quite comparable to the season called Autumn. …
Conflict is not typically a word that conjures up pleasant thoughts. Experiencing conflict usually elicits feelings of anxiety, anger, resentment, uncertainty, and failure.
We don’t (typically) get excited about conflict.
But we should.
Our contemporary definitions of conflict don’t help this negative connotation. Incompatibility and arguing, disagreement and fighting — this is how we talk about conflict. But maybe conflict isn’t so bad.
Literally, conflict simply means “to strike together.” From the Latin ‘com fligere’ (technically, “with strike”), conflict is a picture of elements in contrast striking together. While the Oxford English Dictionary defines conflict as “a state of opposition or hostilities,” a “fight or struggle,” and, “the clashing of opposed principles,” the basic essence of conflict is less negative. …
Nothing rings with more elevation and sacredness in the Christian world than this act. Neither does anything reside on such surface-level understanding that has possibly caused Christianity to be missing something in this highly esteemed ritual.
The debates are glorious. Transubstantiation versus consubstantiation. Apostolic authority in serving the elements versus the congregationalist view of the priesthood of all believers. None of which captures my attention.
I’m more interested in a simpler question — what is this sacrament actually about?
While it has taken on various meanings over time, the current abstract status appears confusing in light of its earliest accounts. My deepest frustration lies in the misunderstanding in the Passover roots of Communion, but I will save that discourse for another time. …
The formation of religious faith is difficult in a culture full of the antagonistic forces of post-modernism, globalization, industrial economics, and, generally, Post-Christendom. A concept like theology seems archaic in the midst of our current sociological inheritance.
Full of the civilized trappings of Westernism, traditional religiosity has become outmoded and obsolete to the enlightened among us.
I, too, have inherited this culture.
I, too, have been left a bit jaded.
Being religious is hard in 2020.
But if you are alive today, you’ve also inherited the religious artifacts that have maintained from historical influence and survived as a part of the cultural narrative. Though modern interaction with religion still thrives in the midst of this inheritance, our sociological context not only has made religion obscure and seemingly unnecessary, it has left a void of religious influence, especially by a singular faith tradition. …
“Do you believe in God?”
An interesting question that is often posed in my direction — yet one that I don’t actually find that interesting.
Usually, it's a Christian asking out of pious apologetics with, let’s be honest, rather banal proofs they’ve inherited from the second great awakening and the scientific revolution’s catalyst towards modernism.
Or it's an atheist with their hyper-rational challenges that seems more invested in the abstract intellectual victory that sound reasoning; you could say, religiously faithful to the cause.
Or the postmodern concoction of neo-pagan, eastern, progressive Westerners testing the waters to gauge my perspective.
Especially when the question comes from the Christian background, which I do claim, there is much historical myopia festering within their apparent inquisition and, alas, I’m not interested. …